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A Blogger's Bookshelf: Introducing Catriona!

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! Today I bring you another great blogger- Catriona from BGPolish- to talk about some books! Her chosen topic is the Harry Potter series, so be prepared for an awesome crash-course in the World of Wizardry.

Hi there! I am Catriona from over at BGPolish. I am so happy to be talking to you through Rachel's blog today! This is also something a little different for me as I have done guest posts in the past, but this one is not about nails! It's about books. I do love to read, although I wish I had two things: a) more hours in the day for a good book, and b) the ability to read faster.

I am going to be talking to you about the Harry Potter Series of books, however I will let you know now that the photos I have to show you are of the DVD's and I know this, but the books I have are on my Kindle app on my iPad and so I couldn't photograph it for you. I guess I could have grabbed some photos off the internet but that's not really my thing! I also warn you now, this will be a long post as there is a lot to talk about!

Okay so to kick the series off there is Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. This book came out when I was only a child, and if I am honest I wasn't bothered about reading it at all, but when my older brother of four years loved it, I knew I wanted it immediately.

" - CHAPTER ONE -The Boy Who Lived
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange of mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense. "

That is the very first paragraph in the first book. The reason I love this series is the depth to which J.K Rowling went into with the characters, and each time I read them over again I find I have a new favourite character. I also love that this is not your normal 'teenagers go to school story' and that there is so much behind them as well, like the teachers, right down to the caretaker and his cat.

Whilst it is also like any other series as well, there are blatant changes in the movies to which are in the books, some things are said by other people and even at other times within the series - but obviously the movie writers thought it suited it best where they put it. There are also segments of the books missing in the movies, mainly in this book as they missed out a scene from the end where it is Hermione's turn to be useful again, but they clearly just stopped with the Devil's Snare.

Can you tell I am trying not to give too much away for those who haven't read the books yet? Because I strongly believe that everyone should read these, the writing within them is amazing, and each time I read them again I get even more pulled in to the point someone could walk past me in the same room and I wouldn't have known they were there as I am so far into Hogwarts.
" Dumbledore raised his hand. The room gradually fell silent.'There are all kinds of courage,' said Dumbledore, smiling. 'It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr Neville Longbottom.' "

" Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year."
In the second book Harry proceeds back to Hogwarts, going via a friends house in an enchanted car, which of course, flies. Once back at Hogwarts he learns so much about himself and his past, that he can talk to snakes and this isn't a common gift. He learns about the history of the school and that there is a Chamber which holds a monster (Basilisk).

This is my daughters favourite film, she watches it so often I know all the words. But the book is much better, as they always are. I love that you get to really know the characters more in this book, where the game keeper is accused of setting said monster free, and attacking the Mudbloods/Muggle Borns.
" He was standing at the end of a very long, dimly lit chamber. Towering stone pillars entwined with more carved serpents rose to support a ceiling lost in darkness, casting long black shadows through the odd, greenish gloom that filled the place. "

"Uncle Vernon has roared, spraying Harry with spit."
So, up until now we have been led to believe that the only family Harry has left are the Dursley's, who treat him like he is a horrible burden, and they tell him this regularly. However Harry finds a godfather he never knew he had. He comes into contact with a werewolf and survives and he also learns some amazing magic to protect him from dementors, which are massive capes of fear.
" 'What did Malfoy mean?' Harry muttered to Ron, as he stuck his hands under the icy jet that poured from a gargoyle's mouth. 'Why would I want revenge on black? He hasn't done anything to me - yet.'"
" Mr Ollivander spent much longer examining Harry's wand than anyone else's. Eventually, however, he made a fountain of wine shoot out of it, and handed it back to Harry, announcing it was still in perfect condition. "
In the fourth book, which when compared with the size of the first three is around double the size, you learn all about a tournament named the Tri Wizard Tournament, and this is basically where select students from two other wizarding high schools around the world come to Hogwarts and compete against one another.
This is definitely one of my favourite books- you get to see Harry building his relationship with his Godfather, Sirius. You see a different side to Dumbledore, as he is truly upset by Harry being entered into this competition and he takes on an almost fatherly role.

This is also the book where his worst fears are made a reality when Voldemort returns from, well I won't say the dead, as he wasn't, and no magic can revive the dead, but he came back from this shell of a human anyways, and now he is powerful again and will proceed to rebuild his army.
" But not one of the spells he had practiced had been designed to combat sudden reversal of ground and sky. Did he dare move his foot? He could hear the blood pounding in his ears. He had two choices - try and move, or send up red sparks, and get rescued and disqualified from the task. "
"Grinning in spite of himself, Harry took his end of the string and inserted it into his ear as the twins had done"
This book is where Voldemort is back, although the Ministry of Magic is determined that he isn't; they have branded Harry and Dumbledore liars. Dumbledore was stripped of his titles, all for telling the truth - but in honesty this didn't bother him in the slightest. He reformed his underground group of wizards called the Order of the Phoenix. The Ministry started interfering at Hogwarts by putting the undersecretary in as a defence against the dark arts teacher, and they refuse to teach the young wizards anything about combat.

This all spirals out of control when Harry learns that he can see into Voldemort's mind with his dreams, which later in the series he can do at will. He saves Mr Weasley as he sees him being attacked by Voldemort in the form of a snake, and after this he is supposed to learn Occlumency, the shield of your mind. But he gives up as he dislikes his teacher Severus.

All the while, Dumbledore is refusing to have anything to do with Harry as he thinks that this may deter Voldemort from protruding further into Harry's mind.
"'George,' said Fred. 'I think we've outgrown full-time education.''Yeah I have been feeling that way myself,' said George lightly. "
"The news that Ron had been poisoned spread quickly next day, but it did not cause the sensation that Katie's attack had done."
It's out in the open that Voldemort is back- everyone knows. Sirius has died, and Harry takes on a very sarcastic role in this book/film, this being down to the fact he really can't be bothered anymore. He then works alongside Dumbledore, getting to know the ins and outs of Voldemort, trying to understand him better so he will be better at fighting against him in the future.

It is found out that the reason Voldemort survived after a killing curse rebounded on him when Harry was a child, was down to Harry's mother, who shielded him with herself, therefore casting a shield of Love over him. Voldemort survived because he made horcruxes- pieces of his soul stored in an inanimate object away from the scene.

They go to find one.. then.. someone dies. Not telling who incase you haven't read the books or seen the films.. which I find unlikely, but you never know. Dum dum duuuuuuuum.
" His hand closed automatically around the fake horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort, he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left with Ron and Hermione."
" The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a few seconds they stood quite still, wands directed at each others chests; then, recognising each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction."
Okay so whilst this is all one book it is in two parts in the films, and in order to get the quotes in, as I thought the ending needed more than just two - I thought I would copy the films and do it in two parts, and no not only because I had photographed them like this! :D
Anyways, in the first half of the book there is a lot of tension, Harry is being hunted by most of the country and there are very little people that can be trusted. Severus is now headmaster of Hogwarts and they are teaching Dark Arts to the young wizards.
"The shock of losing Mad-Eye hung over the house in the days that followed; Harry kept expecting to see him stumping in through the back door like the other Order members, who passed in and out to relay news. Harry felt that nothing but action would assuage his feelings of guilt and grief and that he ought to set out on his mission to find and destroy Horcruxes as soon as possible."
"The elf swayed slightly, stars reflected in his wide, shining eyes. Together, he and Harry looked down at the silver hilt of the knife protruding from the elf's heaving chest"
I was rather upset when they killed Dobby off - in fact I'm sure I cried. I like the fact that the books have you so attached to the characters it is upsetting when one dies, or is hurt. Although the ending of this book makes sense, I almost wasn't ready to say goodbye just like that, although there is a what happened after segment, but for me one chapter in that wasn't nearly enough, but perhaps thats just me and my Harry Potter obsession.
"Terror washed over him as he lay on the floor, with that funeral drum pounding inside him. Would it hurt to die? All those times he had thought it was about to happen and escaped, he had never really thought of the thing itself: his will to live had always been much stronger than his fear of death. Yet it did not occur to him now to try to escape, to outrun Voldemort. It was over, he knew it, and all that was left was the thing itself: dying."

Well, I have now told you what is in there, and I would now like to say that the little segments I have given you are no where near the amount which is in the books- there is friendships, problems, horrible characters, quidditch, spells, learning and so much more. I am re-reading these books again for around the tenth time, not only for me, but I now read them out loud to my daughter, who is 16 months old, and even she is loving them!

I would really appreciate your feedback on this post as I am not sure how I did as it is my first one. For a while I did think about doing this kind of thing on my blog once a month or so, or each time I finished a new book, but I really didn't know if I would be any good at it. If that is something you would like to see please do head over to BGPolish
Or you could head over to my Facebook page
Or catch up with me on Instagram,
Or even Youtube

Thank you so much for reading, and thanks so much to Rachel for letting me do this! I hope you're all having a wonderful day! - Always.
Thank you for writing, Catriona! I really need to get round to reading the Harry Potter books- I've only seen the films! (I'm such a disgrace, I know, I know). I'd like to know how many of you have only seen the films too? Leave a comment below!
And I shall catch up with you all on Wednesday, with a post from myself! And I promise that I'll actually write one this time instead of leaving you all hanging. See you then!

Exam Update: 2 down... 11 more to go!


  1. Read all the books, seen all the films, own the whole lot. Love this series. Thanks for doing such a thorough write-up, Cat!

    1. (Very late, but) Thanks! (On behalf of Cat)
      From me- I've just finished reading the first 3, and I think I'm now in love with them! :D x


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